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Rock Cycle Lab Activity

The investigations in this kit turn the task of learning rock types and rock cycles processes into something memorable for elementary and middle school students. In this first investigation, students examine sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. They then model some rock cycle processes while making their own sedimentary rock model form a mixture of sand and an Epsom salt solution. In the second investigation, students press crayon savings between heated blocks to model how heat and pressure changes rocks from sedimentary to metamorphic rockc. In the last investigation, students create igneous rock models from a "magma solution". They will also observe how crystal size is affected by time. This activity allows students to explore Framework Science Standards ESS1 and ESS2.

This kit has been aligned with all published National Standards. Pre- and Post-laboratory assessments and vocabulary words all target specific Science and Engineering Practices and common core standards. The teacher guide also contains specific "Did You Know" concepts that link the real world with the scientific standards explored. A student copymaster is included. This kit includes materials for a class of 30 students.

Materials included:
2 Packages, epsom salt
10 Hand lenses
1 Cheese grater
20 Granite rocks
20 Sandstone rocks
15 Quartzite rocks
15 Obsidian rocks
15 Gneiss rocks
1 Package, pipe cleaners
2 Bags, fine sand
1 C-clamp
30 Clear plastic cups
50 Paper cups
2 Wooden blocks
50 Plastic zip-lip bags, sandwich size
2 Boxes, crayons
1 Package, wooden splints
2 Packages of 24 plastic spoons
Teacher's Guide and Student Guide

Materials not included:
Hot plate or bunsen burner
Large container for heating water
Hot pads or oven mitts
Large wooden or heatproof spoon
Measuring cups or graduated cylinders and balances
Newspaper or other protective coverings for tables
Waxed paper or aluminum foil
Red food coloring
Masking tape
Recipes and samples of chocolate fudge and chocolate brownies
Quartz crystals
Table salt

Time requirements:
The investigations derscribed in this kit are suitable for students in grades 3-8. Each investigation includes specific modifications for students at the younger and older grade level.

Investigation 1: one 45-minute class period and one 20-minute class period after 7 days
Investigation 2:
One 45-minute class period
Investigation 3: One 45 minute class period and one 20-minute class period after 10-21 days



Item # Description Unit Availability Price Quantity
470190-696 Rock Cycle Lab Activity
Each Retrieving


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